Force the Pass Brilliant in Belmont Derby

Force the Pass Brilliant in Belmont Derby

Richard Santulli’s Force the Pass delivered a career-best performance July 4 in the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, making a powerful rail-skimming move heading into the far turn and sprinting away to win by 3 3/4 lengths. Watch Video

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No Positives in June 2015 Economic Indicators

U.S. Thoroughbred racing’s economic indicators for June 2015, released July 4 by Equibase Co., showed declines in the five key areas of wagering, purses, race days, races, and starts, compared with the same month in 2014.
Wagering dipped during June 2015, although off less than a quarter percent—0.23%—at $925,512,755, compared with $927,683,726 for June 2014, while the number of races showed a sharper decline at 7.86%, from 4,225 in June 2014 to 3,893.
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Shaman Ghost Looks for Queen’s Plate Magic

Boasting a three-race win streak that includes a victory in the Marine Stakes (Can-III) in his most recent start, Shaman Ghost will take his shot at the first Canadian classic of the season when he starts in the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes July 5 at Woodbine.

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Churchill Downs Spring Meet Handle Increases

Boosted by record wagering on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) card, Churchill Downs registered a 2.46% increase in pari-mutuel handle during its 38-day spring meet, reversing an 11.5% decline a year ago.

According to statistics obtained upon request from the Kentucky Horse Racing CommissionChurchill Downs Inc. does not disclose handle numbers for any of its tracks except on major racing dayspari-mutuel handle

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Crown Champ American Pharoah Returns to Work

After three weeks off following his Triple Crown sweep, Zayat Stables’ American Pharoah returned to work June 29 with a three-furlong drill in :36 2/5, according to clockers at Santa Anita Park.

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Charles Town, Horsemen Strike Three-Year Deal

After multiple extensions of their old contract, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and the Charles Town Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association have struck a new contract for a minimum of three years.

The announcement was made June 24. The previous contract between the West Virginia track and horsemen’s group was entered into in 2009 and expired at the end of 2014.

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TOC Elects New Board Member, Four Incumbents

Thoroughbred Owners of California’s membership recently elected Allen Aldrich and re-elected Bob Baffert, Ed Moger, Mike Pegram, and Kathy Walsh to its board of directors.
All five were elected to three-year terms. The new board officially takes office July 1 and will be seated at TOC’s first board meeting of the new fiscal year when directors meet July 10 at Los Alamitos
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Upgrades, New Fees for Seating at Saratoga

Customers at Saratoga Race Course this summer will find the signature of its current leadership boldly on the historic track’s 147th race meet, which begins July 24.

At a press conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on June 22, New York Racing Association executives previewed this year’s meet, with an emphasis on hospitality and big-event racing. Among the most significant changes patrons will find are in the Carousel, a seating and simulcast area on the ground floor of the grandstand, and in the backyard, where previously free, first-come, first-served seating will now be available by reservation for a fee.

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Moore Establishes Royal Ascot Riding Record

Jockey Ryan Moore rode a record ninth winner of this year’s Royal Ascot meeting on favored Aloft in the Queen’s Vase Stakes that closed out the June 19 card.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained 3-year-old was the 5-2 favorite and beat Tommy Docc by half length. One day of racing remains at the meeting, June 20.

“I’m very lucky. I get to ride the best horses and that makes a big difference,” Moore said after the record win.